UN Votes in Favor of Ending Cuban Blockade 191-2

Source:  TeleSUR
27 October 2015

Once again, the United States and Israel voted against the motion to end economic sanctions.

Cuba's Foreign Minister Rodriguez addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New YorkThe United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of lifting the blockade against Cuba Tuesday, with only the U.S. and Israel voting against.

The initiative has been backed by the majority of members for the last 23 years.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented a report that concludes that the economic sanctions, which have caused some US$833.8 billion in damage to the Caribbean island, should be lifted.

Moments before the vote took place, the U.S. representative to the U.N. declared that his country would vote against lifting the sanctions, saying that it was unfortunate that Cuba had presented a motion that was “almost identical” to the one the year before.

Violation of human rights

His speech followed that of Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez (photo), who demanded that the U.S. end the “flagrant, massive and systematic violation of human rights of all Cubans” by terminating the half-century financial and economic blockade.

Rodriguez pointed out the company Electra refused to supply Cuban hospitals with cancer drugs.

“The embargo is a flagrant, massive and systematic violation of human rights of all Cubans,” he said. “It is contrary to international law … It has been described as an act of genocide.”

“We hope that U.S. moves forward form a cruel and unjust policy anchored in the past and adopts a policy based on the feelings of its own citizens,” he added.

Non-Aligned Movement

Iran’s U.N. representative of the Non-Aligned Movement spoke first in support of lifting the blockade. He listed the ways the sanctions had harmed the people of Cuba and the development of the country.

“It affects all crucial sectors of society, such as public health … banking and tourism. It denies Cuba aid,” he told the assembly. “The embargo is also the main obstacle to broader access to the internet and the exchange of ideas.”

“The continuation of the embargo is unjustifiable, and counters Cuba’s effort to achieve sustainable development,” he added.

Echoing the theme, Ecuador’s NAM representative at the U.N. called on the United States to cease voting against the movement, “contrary to the will of the international community.”

CARICOM & MERCOSUR

U.N. Representatives from the Caribbean Community and Common Market and the South American regional bloc Mercosur both congratulated the United States and Cuba for re-establishing relations, but also called on the United States to lift the blockade against Cuba.

“The time has come to put an end to this unilateral embargo,” said the Paraguayan representative, speaking on behalf of Mercosur.

RELATED: World Discusses the Blockade on Cuba at the UN

For the last three years, 188 of the 193 members have voted in favor of Cuba, with the United States and Israel being persistent exceptions. The decision must be unanimous in order for the measure to be passed.

The resolution is named the “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.” It expresses concern over the international legality of the U.S. economic and financial siege of the Caribbean island.

U.S. President Barack Obama said in July that the blockade had failed. Since then, he has often hinted that it would soon be lifted. But despite beginning a path to normalize bilateral dealings, including lifting some travel and trade bans to the island, the sanctions continue, as a change of policy would have to be passed by Congress.

Four conditions

Cuban President Raul Castro has reiterated that in order for full relations to be re-established, the United States must meet four conditions: to leave Guantanamo detention camp; end the blockade; end the “wet-foot-dry-foot” law encouraging Cubans to pursue residency in the U.S.; and end anti-government radio and television transmissions into the island.

RELATED: A UN Vote Worth Watching: Will the US Support a UN Motion Against the Cuban Blockade?

Lifting of the half-century blockade would represent a historic moment for Cubans, 77 percent of whom were born under the harsh economic conditions.

Source:  UN Votes in Favor of Ending Cuban Blockade 191-2  TeleSUR

One thought on “UN Votes in Favor of Ending Cuban Blockade 191-2

  1. The recently held massive vote of the UN General Assembly of 191-2 is simply another confirmation of humanity’s desire to see the end of the criminal blockade against Cuba. This kind of voting pattern against the US blockade is not new, in fact, it has been the trend in the UN General Assembly for years now yet the blockade persists against even the wishes of most Americans.

    So the big question is why does the blockade continue against socialist Cuba even in a global context of complete isolation of the US government within and without the UN General Assembly on the issue of the blockade?

    Perhaps more than any other reason is that the blockade persists against Cuba because of the raw though waning power and dominance of US imperialism in the international economy. The US imperialists are still unfortunately the main financial capitalists who dominate global financial markets through the power of Wall Street. The latter dominance over world finance also extends the power of Wall Street to the US Department of Treasury and through the latter to the international financial institutions namely the IMF and the World Bank. They wield this power at least for now to keep some countries particularly weaker ones to stay away from doing business with Cuba for fear of losing export markets and aid packages from the US.

    Secondly, the US dominance over finance capital gives it a huge advantage over dictating not only financial policy but also trade policy and commercial policies of ostensibly sovereign countries including some who are in favor of ending the blockade against Cuba.

    This power of US imperialism over international finance and therefore loans, the terms of terms of loans, aid packages to developing countries, trade policies and access to markets is a weigh on the necks of several countries which no doubt influence the extent to which they are likely to go in resisting the imperialist blockade.

    Thirdly, the US Congress is and has been a monstrous political hindrance to ending the blockade against Cuba particularly now with its majority republican composition. The truth is that many of the occupants in the US Congress both presently and in the past, both democrats and republicans are and have been recipients of handsome contributions from Wall Street and other interests including the rich and older anti-Castro Cubans who are opposed to the lifting of the blockade against Cuba.

    As such several of these politicians of both parties now and then are politically and morally compromised to take a firm stance in support of ending the odious blockade against the courageous people of Cuba who have done so much for humanity in blood and resources.

    In my opinion and at a fundamental level, the ending of the US blockade against Cuba is obviously a sovereign political issue which could have long ago been resolved had the financial and commercial interests so opposed to the Cuban revolution not had such a stranglehold over those in the US Congress and who claim to represent the American people. Alternatively expressed, the US blockade against Cuba would have ended long ago had so many supposedly representatives of the Anerican people not sold their souls the Wall Street and more generally corporate and anti- Castro interests. Indeed, if vast numbers of the US Congressional representatives were really doing their jobs, they would have seen the many surveys that show that most Americans are opposed to the continuation of the blockade against Cuba. Unfortunately, they ignore the political sentiments of the people they claim to represent because those who they really represent are their big donors who are the financial oligarchs and corporate interests that bankroll their election campaigns.

    Consequently, though there is no economic rationale to maintain the blockade against Cuba, the US Congress persists in maintaining it to the disadvantage of US businesses who over the years of the blockade have lost out on markets and contracts to Japanese, Chinese, Canadian and European companies in Cuba. It is worthwhile asking how many more billions of dollars in rice, soya beans, corn, meats, fertilizers, medicines and a range of other goods and services will the US Congress permit US companies to loose to their global competitors who are already sharing in Cuba ‘s economic pie? Where is the ‘free trade” and “free market” policies for American investors and businesses that the US Congress touts and that is supposedly the hallmark of American capitalism? How many tens of thousands of potential jobs and billions of dollars worth of wages and salaries have been sacrificed because of the political and ideological committment of the servants of financial interests in the US Congress who are baselessly sticking to a failed blockade that has inflicted significant damages to American Capitalism and perhaps even more so to the Cuban people?

    Just as the American capitalists have lost billions of dollars in profits to their global competitors like the Japanese and European capitalists who are exploiting their access to Cuban markets, it is equally true that the sleeping US Congress is also denying Americans a wide range of benefits that Cuba has to offer particularly tourist , health care, educational services and other products. For example, Americans have been officially denied by the US Congress the ability to purchase vacation packages to Cuba which would provide them with the opportunity not only to have “fun in the sun”but also to experience Cuba for themselves instead of being told by CNN or politically biased US politicians about Cuba. Likewise Americans could benefit from several medical discoveries developed by Cuban researchers such as a drug that would prevent amputations of limbs for diabetic Americans.

    Furthermore, the older reactionary Cuban mafiosos in Miami and elsewhere who made a killing in all sorts of nefarious activities such as prostitution, finance, gambling and others in Cuba are dying out and more generally are losing their grip on the younger Cubans and over US politicians. As such, the political stranglehold of the older generation of Cubans though not dead has waned significantly as a political force in American politics and the younger ones seem more open to visit Cuba, set up business in Cuba and so on and are generally less recalcitrant about a hard line anti-communist opposition to the Cuban revolution.

    Thus, I believe that it is reasonable to say that the political force of the Cuban gusanos as a source of fighting to maintain the blockade has declined significantly though it is still playing a role. However, it is probably on its last lap as even Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican Presidential Candidate and one of the younger generation of virulent anti-Castro politician is apparently unpopular in Florida. As recent as yesterday, Floridians called for his resignation as Senator because they believe that he is selling them short. Though I don’t know the statistical breakdown of those calling for his resignation, I would find it hard not to believe that some of his opponents aren’t younger Cubans.

    “Peace if you are willing to fight for it ” Fred Hampton

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